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AOL 6 month requirement

Requirement as stated…Be active in your Webelos den for at least six months since completing the fourth grade or for at least six months since becoming 10 years old. (Being active means having good attendance, paying your den dues, and working on den projects.)

Now our boys move up in dens on June 1st when summer school break and they technically move up in grade. The Pack AOL den wants to crossover in FEB…however the AOL den did nothing in June, July, August(none went to summer camp or showed up for Pack monthly activities) they had their first AOL den meeting the first of SEPT.

So in the above definition of ACTIVE I feel the den didn’t become Active until Sept. And as such March would be the 6 month date for the requirement. Needless to say the den leaders don’t see it that way…they say they became AOL on June 1 so 6 months would be December…however the requirements clearly state what ACTIVE is and clearly the den wasn’t active until Sept.

I don’t want scouts to be discouraged but also feel scouts need to complete requirements as stated…after all they are to be trustworthy and obedient and the requirement leaves no room for interpretation since is specifically gives the intended definition.

These Scouts are currently in the 5th grade, correct? When did they earn their Webelos rank?

Yes currently in 5th grade…completed 4th grade end of May 2019 became aol june 2019

When did they earn their Webelos rank?

In May but that isn’t relevant since requirement states since completing 4th grade

The reason I am asking is because there are no AOL dens, there are only Webelos dens. And Webelos Scouts in the 4th grade may begin working on AOL rank requirements as soon as they have earned the Webelos rank - they do not have to wait until the end of the school year when the other dens move up to the next den level. Cub Scout Ranks

Cub Scout Advancement Trail

If school ended at the end of May, then a Webelos Den Leader could reasonably say that that’s when the clock starts (for Webelos Scouts who were not already 10 years old). Den Leaders approve Cub Scout rank advancement ( Who Approves Cub Scout Advancement?

Be active in your Webelos den:

  • for at least six months since completing the fourth grade OR
  • for at least six months since becoming 10 years old.

Unlike older Scouts, the standard for Cub Scouts is “Do Your Best” ( “Do Your Best”).


@MarkBrown1 If I may paraphrase your post, I believe the question reduces to - If the den is not active over the summer months, should the scouts receive credit for being active?

Scouts BSA ranks of Star, Life, and Eagle also require active participation. Quoting a sidebar within Active Participation:

Scouting is a year-round program administered by the adult leaders. Units should not be taking time off during the summer or at other times of the year. Regardless of a unit’s expectations or policy, if a unit takes time off it must count that time toward the Scout’s active participation requirement. The Scout must not be penalized because the unit has chosen not to meet or conduct other activities for a period of time. (Guide to Advancement, page 23)

I think the intent of this can be applied to Cub Scouts to allow scouts working on Arrow of Light rank to count the summer months toward their tenure requirements when their den is not active during the summer.


But still the requirement states ACTIVE and further gives the meaning of being active.

At the troop level, if the troop chooses to not meet during the summer, then the troop is not active. Individual scouts are still considered active for the time period that the troop is inactive.

If this is applied to the den level [which is our debate - does this apply or not], then if the den chooses not to meet over the summer, then the individual scouts would still be considered active for the summer.

Possibly another phrasing might help - the scouts missed no den meetings over the summer, so can’t be counted as inactive. However, the den had no meetings over the summer, so it was inactive.

More thoughts - the adults are the ones who set the meetings. If the adults choose not to meet, should the scout be penalized for not having the opportunity to attend?


@MarkBrown1 if your dens are not active in the summer the scouts are being as active as your unit allows


Well our Pack had events June July and August but none of the AOL attended…their first Activity ss Aol was their Sept den meeting. So the Unit(pack) was active and their was opportunity to be active…they chose not to be active until Sept.

When did they earn their Webelos rank? This question is relevant because if they are already 10 years old when they earn the Webelos rank, then that is when the AOL tenure requirement begins.

And for those Scouts who were not 10 years old while in the 4th grade, the tenure requirement would begin as soon as the school year ends, so if school ended on May 20th (for example), then that is when the tenure would begin for those individual Scouts.


First, I agree that the pack had activities over the summer. So, they had chances to be active. I also agree with Jennifer that timing of turning 10 and earning Webelos matters. It may vary by scout.

That said, the alternate definition of active in the guide to advancement for Scouts BSA basically gives credit for any reason imaginable for missing activities. So, did they have a reason for missing, or were they just too cool to hang out with younger scouts? Note that this section technically applies to scouts BSA, but I think we would all agree that cub scouts should not be more strict than scouts BSA.


But, is missing 2 events enough to qualify you as inactive? It isn’t like you were meeting weekly.

Do Your Best is the guide phrase of the day.

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Let’s say for example:

These Scouts became 4th grade Webelos Scouts in a Webelos den as soon as they completed the 3rd grade, which would have been around May, 2018.

At some point during the 4th grade, they most likely earned the Webelos rank. Perhaps they all earned Webelos rank on March 1, 2019 (example date). The Guide to Advancement and the Cub Scout Advancement Trail both say that 4th grade Webelos Scouts who have earned the Webelos rank may start working on the AOL rank (because they are already in Webelos dens, they do not have to wait until the end of the school year when the other dens move up to the next den level).

BSA Guide to Advancement section Cub Scout Ranks
Cub Scouts do not “go back” and work on ranks designed for earlier grade levels, even if missed due to their time of joining. Likewise, Cub Scouts do not “move ahead” to work on the next rank until the completion of the current school year (or until their next birthday if their chartered organization transitions by age), with the exception of those who earned the Webelos rank in the fourth grade.

BSA Cub Scout Advancement Trail
If a fourth-grade Cub Scout has completed the Webelos rank, they may begin to work on the Arrow of Light.

If they were all 10 years old when they earned their Webelos rank using the example date of March 1, then the Webelos Den Leader could count all of March, April, and May as part of their tenure, because the 6 months does not have to be continuous.

In addition, the requirements do not define what it means to have “good attendance”. Cub Scouts have no control over their own transportation. Were they absent because they chose not to attend the pack’s summer activities? Or were they absent because Mom and Dad took them on vacation? The Webelos Den Leader is the one who decides if they meet the tenure requirement or not, because the Den Leader approves Cub Scout advancement.

The standard for older Scouts in Scouts BSA troops is that they must meet the requirements as written. The standard for Cub Scouts is “Do Your Best”.


Jennifer, one small point. When Webelos rank is earned does not affect AoL tenure. The AoL tenure clock starts as soon as they turn ten if they are in a Webelos den, unless the clock already started when they finished 4th grade.

Example #1: Scout is in 4th grade. Scout is active during the school year. They turn 10 November 30… They earn Webelos rank January 31. They finish 4th grade May 31. On June 01, they have 6 months AoL tenure.

Example #2: Everything the same as #1 except the scout turns 09 on their birthday. On June 01, they have 1 day for AoL tenure.

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@DougWright - I interpret the tenure requirement the same way @JenniferOlinger does, because a fourth grader may not begin working on AoL requirements until s/he has earned the Webelos rank. The common sense exception is the elective adventure, because otherwise a Scout could theoretically earn all the elective adventures in fourth grade, not do the pamphlet exercises. never complete the Webelos rank and then not have any elective available to earn to complete the AoL rank. But I see crediting AoL tenure to a fourth grader before the Webelos rank is earned as allowing that fourth grader to work on the AoL rank before it is permitted.

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That raises another question. Say first year webelos earn their webelo rank and complete 3 electives before finishing webelo rank…then when they start Aol requirements do they have to earn another elective while working towards Aol?

NO, they do not have to complete an additional elective.

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I understand what you are saying, but tenure is different than actively working on a requirement. And the tenure requirement for AoL can run concurrently with Webelos tenure, as the LDS scouts do (until Jan.)